What's the best way to cook kielbasa? It's this kielbasa air fryer recipe! Learn how long to cook kielbasa in air fryer, air fryer kielbasa temperature, and more. You’ll love this air fryer polish sausage that’s perfectly moist and juicy. Kielbasa in the air fryer is low carb, gluten free, and keto friendly, and absolutely delicious! Don’t serve your pierogi and potatoes without it!
- 🤔 What is kielbasa?
- ⭐ Kielbasa Sausage in Air Fryer Benefits
- 🥘 What is kielbasa made of?
- 🔪 How to Make Air Fryer Kielbasa
- ⏲️ How long do you cook kielbasa?
- 🌡️ Can you freeze kielbasa?
- 😋 What goes with kielbasa?
- 📋How many calories in kielbasa?
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👨🏾🍳 Other Air Fryer Sausage Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- Recipes For Kielbasa Sausage
- 💬 Comments
🤔 What is kielbasa?
Kielbasa (AKA Polish sausage) is a meat sausage from Polish cuisine. In the US, it is a cured sausage most commonly sold in a “u” shape. It is typically made of pork, beef, or a combination of beef and pork.
Polska kielbasa is often smoked, though you can also find it uncooked and fresh. Some popular US brands of kielbasa include Hillshire, Butterball, Jennie-O, Boar’s Head, and Johnsonville Polish kielbasa rope sausage.
Today, you’ll learn how to cook precooked kielbasa. You can make whole kielbasa in air fryer or kielbasa dogs in air fryer, the directions are the same.
I’ll also tell you about the best kielbasa to buy, and why I love it so much! If you’re a big fan of the foods of Poland, this post is for you!
⭐ Kielbasa Sausage in Air Fryer Benefits
Why make polish sausage in air fryer? Here are a few benefits of this recipe:
- Precooked kielbasa: Is kielbasa sausage cooked? In general, the answer is yes, which means a fast cooking time for you to reheat it!
- High quality protein: Whether it’s made of beef, pork, turkey, or chicken, kielbasa is a rich source of high-quality protein. Unlike most of the plant-based alternatives, meat sausage provides all of the essential amino acids in the ratios needed to be healthy. It also provides an assortment of highly bioavailable essential minerals, such as iron and zinc.
- Low carb, keto, gluten free: Kielbasa may be a good fit for your special diet, depending on the brand of kielbasa you buy. You can purchase sugar free kielbasa that is keto, low carb, and gluten free.
- Meal prep: This Polish sausage air fryer recipe freezes well and is perfect for meal prepping.
- Delicious: Kielbasa is a family favorite, perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, or weekend comfort food. Its versatility makes it a good fit for a wide range of meals.
🥘 What is kielbasa made of?
The ingredients in kielbasa will vary greatly by brand. IMVHO, US Wellness Meats has the best kielbasa. I love the simple ingredients list of this fully cooked sugar-free Polish kielbasa beef sausage:
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
Kielbasa from the grocery store is often pink from pink curing salts. Additionally, it may have added sugar and other additives, with a long ingredients list similar to hot dogs. For example, here are the ingredients for Hillshire Polish Kielbasa:
- Mechanically Separated Turkey
- Corn Syrup
- Isolated Soy Product
- Isolated Soy Protein
- Monosodium Glutamate
- Natural Flavor
- Sodium Erythorbate
- Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Phosphate
- Made With Beef Collagen Casing
(Yup, that’s an ultra-processed food right there!)
So, what if you want a meat that typically falls into the “highly processed” category, but don’t want to buy online? Why not use it as an excuse to visit your local butcher or farmer? Not only does this help support local businesses, but their foods are also often superior in flavor and quality.
🔪 How to Make Air Fryer Kielbasa
Making air fryer kielbasa is pretty much the easiest thing ever. You just pop the sausage in the air fryer, cook, slice and serve. I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven for this recipe.
You can make air fryer Polish sausage in a Ninja Foodi, Philips, Nuwave, Pampered Chef, Actifry, Instant Pot Vortex, Cosori, Breville, or another air fryer. However, you may need to make slight adjustments to the cooking times if you use another air fryer brand.
Place the kielbasa rope or kielbasa links in your air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray. If you have an air fryer oven, place the tray in the top rack position. No oil or cooking spray is needed because kielbasa is a fatty meat.
⏲️ How long do you cook kielbasa?
How long to cook kielbasa in the air fryer? What temperature to air fry kielbasa? Air fry Polish sausages for a total of 7-10 minutes in an air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177C).
That’s it! There’s no need to flip them. I like to check they’ve reached the minimum safe temp for leftovers of 165F (74C) with a meat thermometer.
After cooking, let the sausages rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Kielbasa doesn’t tend to drip a lot of grease, so it shouldn’t make your air fryer smoke. If it does, you can put a little water or a piece of bread in the drip pan to catch the fat.
I prefer to cut the sausages into pieces after cooking so they don’t dry out. I don’t poke holes in the kielbasa before cooking for the same reason, so all the juices stay inside. Yum!
🌡️ Can you freeze kielbasa?
Yes, kielbasa freezes well! Place kielbasa in a freezer bag with the air pressed out and you can store it in the freezer for months.
Alternatively, keep leftover cooked kielbasa in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. You can reheat kielbasa in a microwave, an air fryer, or a skillet on the stovetop.
😋 What goes with kielbasa?
Want to know what to serve with kielbasa? Mustard or other dipping sauces are a classic choice. Here is a recipe for homemade mustard if you’d like to make your own.
Here are some side dishes for kielbasa:
- Frozen Pierogies in Air Fryer
- Fermented Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
- Lebanese Pickles
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Smoked Mac and Cheese
I’ve also used kielbasa as an ingredient in soups, salads, and casseroles. It’s a tasty way to add more flavor to a variety of meals.
📋How many calories in kielbasa?
One serving of air fryer kielbasa has 263 calories, zero net carbs, and 19 grams protein. This is for a 3.5-ounce (99 gram) link of beef Polska kielbasa that is sugar-free. Nutrition information will vary depending on type of kielbasa, brand, portion size, and whether it has no sugar.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Kielbasa is a fatty meat that is high calorie compared to some other protein options. When served with buttery pierogies and sauerkraut, you’re getting a low volume, high cal, high fat, and high sodium meal. (So very delicious though, just saying.)
Kielbasa is too high in sodium for those following a low-sodium diet and most brands are highly processed meat (like hot dogs). Though some people enjoy large plates of just sausage on the keto diet, adding some veggies may be a smart move. Veggies add fiber, low calorie volume, and an assortment of beneficial phytochemicals not present in meat.
The kielbasa bowl recipe below gives you all of the delicious flavors from a plate of kielbasa and pierogi, without any refined flour. If you skip the potatoes, you get a low-carb meal prep that may help support your weight loss goals. (That said, it’s still not the best choice for those looking to reduce saturated fat intake.)
For a lower fat kielbasa options, get the lite Polska kielbasa or turkey kielbasa. The flavor isn’t quite the same as full fat kielbasa, but it works as an acceptable substitution IMO.
Though kielbasa provides a lot of protein, it’s a high fat meat that is relatively high calorie. I don’t think kielbasa is a best option for losing weight. That said, it’s possible to fit some kielbasa into your diet while you maintain the calorie deficit you need for weight loss.
You can make air fryer frozen kielbasa without thawing! Air fry frozen kielbasa for 12-15 minutes at 375F (190C), flipping halfway through cooking time.
To make a turkey kielbasa air fryer recipe, you can air fry them as you would pork or beef kielbasa. Kielbasa made with turkey can be a good option for those on lower fat or kosher diets.
To make boiled kielbasa, cover with water and simmer for 10-12 minutes on the stovetop. To make crispy kielbasa, you can grill them or pan fry slices on the stovetop for a few minutes after boiling.
You can make roasted kielbasa in an oven preheated to 400F (200C). Place kielbasa in a parchment-lined metal pan with a little water and bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. Poking holes in the kielbasa prior to baking can prevent splitting.
Some brands of kielbasa are gluten free, such as Hillshire Farms Polish Kielbasa. However, recipes change, so you’ll need to read labels to ensure you’re getting a gluten free Polish sausage. Some seasonings may contain gluten, and there may be a risk of cross-contact with gluten during manufacturing.
👨🏾🍳 Other Air Fryer Sausage Recipes
Looking for more air fryer recipes using sausages? Here are some ideas:
Also, don't miss the entire collection of Air Fryer Recipes!
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Kielbasa in Air Fryer (Polish Sausage Recipe)
- 13-16 ounces Kielbasa sausage (369-454 grams fully cooked Polish sausage)
- mustard (optional)
- Place the kielbasa rope or kielbasa links in your air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray. If you have an air fryer oven, place the tray in the top rack position.
- Air fry kielbasa sausages for a total of 7-10 minutes in an air fryer at 350°F (177°C).
- Check they’ve reached the minimum safe temperature of 165°F (74°C) with a meat thermometer.
- If at the safe temp, let rest for 5 minutes before slicing on the diagonal and serving with mustard or your favorite dipping sauce.
Recipes For Kielbasa SausageFor the kielbasa bowls:
- 1 finished recipe Air Fryer Kielbasa, sliced diagonally
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 medium onions, cut into half-moons ¼-inch thick
- 2 medium green peppers, cut into ¼-inch thick strips
- 8 cups herb salad mix
- 4 ounces feta or farmer’s cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup Lebanese pickles (or other fermented veggies)
- 24 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, chopped (680 grams)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Mix all ingredients on the "For the potatoes" list together.
- Spread the potato mixture in a single layer on a metal rimmed baking tray. Roast for 25 minutes. stir them around, and then roast for another 25 minutes.
- Work on the rest of the dish while the potatoes cook.
- Put all of the "For the kielbasa dressing" ingredients together in a jar. Put a lid on the jar and give it a good shake.
- Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a skillet on the stovetop. Add the onions and peppers and cook for 20-30 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Divide the greens between four salad bowls. Top with the onions and peppers, kielbasa, cheese, and fermented veggies. Drizzle with the dressing right before serving.